Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Thu, 19 May 1994 10:18:16 -0800
One of our discussion prior was on 'When boys move to next level'. I'm
putting together the final prepartions of our graduation ceremony now, so I
thought I'd share it with you.
First of all, other than the Webelos Crossing Over Ceremony, which is held in
March, we keep boys in their respective dens/tiger cub groups until June 1
(irregardless of what Council/national does with our membership roster). We
started this tradtion last year and have found the boys are in exciting
anticipation for this years event. We have TWO graduation campfires. One
which addresses, graduation from Tigers/Wolfs to the next level, and the
other for Bears/Webelos-1 to their next level!
We've reserved one of our local Day Camps for the setting. It's a VERY NICE
camp, with a gathering area, and a long trail with a long suspention bridge
over a creak that leads to a meadow 'Campfire' area. Our campfire is as
1. Gathering of all boys in the upper area -- I'll lead two songs to get
them in the spirit,
"If you're Happy and you know it - clap your hands" and
"Swiss Boy" (This is a favorite and we only do it at this campfire.)
2. After the songs, I give a brief instruction that we're about to be called
into the campfire area.
We will proceed in line, boys first, parents follow. They should
maintain quiet and observe
the surrounding nature as we approach the campfire bowl.
3. I signal my Assistant CM, who blows an Elk Horn. This is in return,
answered by another
Elk horn, blown from the Meadow. And in the distance we hear the tomtom
4. I lead the boys down the path, across the bridge, down the trail into the
where we wait until everyone has arrived.
5. I stand with the fire between me and the boys and declare that because
last years campfire
was so special and meaningful, I've saved the ashes to spread on this
years fire. I entice the
boys to help me light the fire with their Scout Spirit as I spread the
ashes on the fire.
[Actually the ashes are 'Granular Cholrine, being spread into a
container of Pine-Sol. The
result being lots of white smoke and a flame flair, which will start the
fire. It is very
impressive if done correctly and with spirit.]
6. After the fire has started we do a action song. Something along the line
of Zulu Chief, or
"Robert Baden Powell-Had Many Scouts".
7. Cheer -- From our 'Cheer Box'
8. Skit -- This year's skit will be presented by a group of Boy Scouts whom
from our Pack.
9. Action Song -- Malo.
10. Cheer -- From our 'Cheer Box'
11. Story -- The story this year is about 'Scout Spirt' I use a large gallon
jar, filled 3/4 with
fine dirt, and a ping pong ball. When I turn it upside down the ping
pong ball is on the
bottom. The ping pong ball is a Scout. As I talk about the virtues
of Scouting I slightly
Shake the jar. Within a few shakes (about one minute of talking) the
ping pong ball
appears at the top of jar having overcome the great weight of the
dirt. The moral of the
story focuses on that the the virtues of Scouting overcomes all that
is dumped on you.
12. Award ceremony -- This is the first year we've included major award
Wolf, Bear, Webelos, etc.) and that is because we lost the school for
our last pack meeting.
13. Graduation Ceremony. Each group is called up around the fire - They are
for being a part of Scouting and for continuing along Akela's trail.
The Tiger Ceremony is
really beefed up to include presentation of certificate, pin, patch
and segment, then the
presentation of their Wolf Scarf and book. The Wolf, Bear ceremony
includes removal of
the old scarf and presentation of the new, along with the book.
Webelos-1 to Webelos-2
includes the presentation of a new Slide. It's one of those Safety
Pin Indian Bonnet's made
by one of our mothers (very nice).
14. After the Graduation Ceremony, we sing 'Mm Mm I want to linger"
15. I call all boys to circle the campfire in a friendhsip circle, with
parents standing behind
the boys. Standing in the middle I offer up the following closing
Wood smoke at eventide smoothes the soul
and makes an easy ladder for a prayer.
May the smoke of this fire
carry your thoughts Heavenward
and make your hearts strong for good scouting.
16. We than close the campfire with singing 'Cub Scout Vespers'. After the
first verse, we
break the friendship circle and my Assistant CM leads the boys back
up the trail, over the
bridge to the upper camp area. As they are leaving the campfire area
we hum the 'Cup
Scout vespers tune.
This graduation leaves a very momentous reminder in the minds of the boys!
Many of the boys who've graduated recall the graduation campfire as one of
those times they liked about Cub Scouting.
Hope your campfires are as memorable.
In Scouting . . .
Peter Van Houten
Peter Van Houten / E-Mail:
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City